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Friday, January 17, 2014

Runners Trek To The Fast Track

Alberto Salazar, legendary marathoner and coach of record-breaking teen runners Galen Rupp and Mary Cain, calls BU's indoor track "illegally fast." (Bill Frakes /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Alberto Salazar, legendary marathoner and coach of record-breaking runners Galen Rupp and Mary Cain, calls BU’s indoor track “illegally fast.” (Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

“I think it’s an illegally fast track,” said Alberto Salazar with a twinkle in his eye. The legendary marathoner, who is now a coach, was standing on the infield inside the indoor track at Boston University last night. He had just seen his star pupil, Galen Rupp break the American indoor record in the 5,000-meters. Rupp ran 13:01:26, breaking the old mark by more than 5 seconds.

One of his other athletes, 17-year-old Mary Cain, missed an American record in the 1,000-meter race, but she set a world record for juniors with her time of 2:39:25

In track and field circles, this layout is known as the “launching pad,” and Rupp will be in the next few weeks to chase two more indoor records, in the mile and the two-mile. The crowd went nuts as he broke the 5K record last night and you can be sure the place will be jammed and rocking as he makes those other two record attempts. I was there last January when Rupp just missed the mile record and the cheering was deafening.

“If you’re going to go for records,” said Salazar, “this is the place to go.”

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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